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Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence)

 

This is a long-term residence category for persons who invest in, or who are employed in a senior management capacity, within an approved category of business. The category is open to persons already resident in the Cayman Islands and persons wishing to become resident. Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and are of good character and health will be issued a Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) valid for 25 years (renewable) entitling them to reside in the Cayman Islands and to work in the business(es) in which they have invested or are employed in a senior management capacity.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for a Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) a person must –

  1. be, or intend to be, legally and ordinarily resident in the Islands for a minimum of ninety days in each calendar year; and
  2. own, or propose to own, either directly or indirectly, a minimum of ten percent of the shares in an approved category of business (see below) in the Islands through which he has established, or will establish, a substantial business presence¹ in the Islands; or
  3. be able to prove to the satisfaction of the Chief Immigration Officer that he is or will be employed in a senior management capacity² of an approved category of business in the Cayman Islands.

¹ In considering whether an applicant has established, or will establish, a 'substantial business presence' in the Islands the Chief Immigration Offier will take into account -

(a) whether through the purchase or lease of commercial real estate the business has established a physical presence in the Islands; and
(b) whether the business in question employs, or will employ, a minimum of four full-time employees who are legally and ordinarily resident in the Islands for a minimum of
nine months in any calendar year.

² A person whose occupation attracts an annual work permit fee of $20,925 or above is deemed to be employed in a ‘senior management capacity’.

Approved categories of business

The following are approved categories of business:

  1. fund administration
  2. brokerage services
  3. investment and fund management services
  4. financial trading (including foreign exchange, securities and derivatives)
  5. captive insurance or reinsurance management services
  6. reinsurance underwriting
  7. investment banking
  8. actuarial services
  9. insurance claims management
  10. family office
  11. Hedge fund incubation
  12. any company registered as an exempted company under section 164 of the Companies Law (2011 Revision).

    Application process

    A person wishing to apply for a Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) must complete an application form and provide other documentation about themselves and the business(es) they own, or intend to own a share in, or in which they are, or will be, employed in a senior management capacity. The list of required information and documentation is attached to the application form. 

    The completed application and its supporting documentation must be submitted to the Chief Immigration Officer at the Department of Immigration.

    The application will then be reviewed for completeness and the applicant may be asked to provide further information. In cases where the applicant is in the process of becoming a shareholder in an approved category of business, or they have not yet completed all licensing requirements, the Chief Immigration Officer may issue an Approval-in-Principle Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) valid for six months. Once they become fully compliant with all requirements, and this has been verified by the Chief Immigration Officer, a Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) will be issued valid for 25 years.

    Entitlements

    The holder of a Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) is entitled to –

    • Reside in the Cayman Islands
    • Work in the business in which he is an owner or is employed in a senior management capacity in an occupation or occupations approved by the Chief Immigration Officer
    • Be accompanied by his spouse and dependent children¹,; ²

    ¹ The right of a dependent child to reside in the Islands as a dependant will cease upon completion of his full-time tertiary education or when he reaches the age of twenty-four years, whichever happens earlier, unless the Chief Immigration Officer is satisfied that there are special circumstances.

    ² A Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) may be varied to add or remove dependants.

    Fees

    Fees are payable –

    • At the time of submitting an application ($1,000 application fee)
    • Upon the issue of a Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) ($5,000 issue fee and $1,000 for each dependant included in the Certificate)
    • Annually (a fee equivalent to that payable by a work permit holder in the same occupation as the holder)¹ ²
    • When varying the Certificate to add or remove a dependant or to change an approved occupation ($500 variation fee).

    ¹ where more than one occupation is authorized in the Certificate the fee payable is equivalent to whichever occupation attracts the higher fee

    ² where a Certificate is varied to change occupation and the new occupation attracts a higher annual fee, the fee payable until the following anniversary date is the difference between that applicable to the former occupation and that of the new occupation. Thereafter, the fee payable is the fee for the new occupation.

    Annual Requirements

    The holder of a Certificate will also be required to submit an annual signed declaration by 31st December to the Chief Immigration Officer confirming that -

    1. his permission to operate or work in the business has not been lost as a result of the revocation or non-renewal of a required licence; and
    2. he was physically resident in the Islands for a minimum of ninety days in aggregate in the preceding calendar year.

    Grounds for revocation of a Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence)

    The holder of a Certificate may have his right to reside in the Islands revoked if –

    1. his ability to operate or work in the business to which the Certificate relates is lost as a result of the revocation or non-renewal of a required licence;
    2. he was not physically resident in the Islands for a minimum of ninety days in aggregate in any calendar year;
    3. the business in relation to which the Certificate was granted no longer exists;
    4. he ceases to comply with the eligibility requirements to hold a Certificate
    5. he fails to pay the required fees in respect of himself or his dependants within thirty days of the due date;
    6. in the opinion of the Chief Immigration Officer, any of the matters referred to in section 38(1)(a) to (o) of the Immigration Law applies to the holder or his spouse.

    Death or divorce of the holder of a Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence)

    If the holder of an Approval-in-Principle Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) or a Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) dies or divorces the right of his surviving or former spouse to reside in the Islands will cease after a period of one year from the date of the death or the dissolution of the marriage unless -

    • The surviving or former spouse can demonstrate that he can support himself and any dependent children without having to become gainfully employed in the Islands; or
    • He or she is granted permission to remain under any other Immigration category.